Reckitt Benckiser has recalled a batch of infant-formula products on sale in the UK days after similar moves across the Atlantic.

The London-listed group has issued a recall of Nutramigen LGG stage 1 and stage 2 hypoallergenic infant-formula powders in the UK because of the possible presence of cronobacter sakazakii, according to a statement from the country’s Food Standard Agency (FSA).

In a recall notice posted on the FSA website, Reckitt asked customers to not use the formula and “return (it) to the pharmacy”.

The company called the move a “precaution” due to an “isolated overseas sample of the product testing positive for Cronobacter sakazakii”.

Reckitt said it “continues to conduct a thorough investigation” in the case.

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By GlobalData

The products are sold in 400g cans with a “best before” date of 1 July 2025.

“Symptoms caused by Cronobacter sakazakii usually include fever and diarrhoea, and in severe cases may lead to sepsis or meningitis,” the FSA said.

In a statement issued on 30 December, the company’s Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) unit voluntarily recalled certain Nutramigen-branded formula products on sale in the US. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also distributed the same statement.

Reckitt Benckiser said tests carried out by MJN proved negative for the pathogen, which can cause serious illness, particularly in children. No illnesses nor adverse consumer reactions have been reported, the company added, noting its Nutramigen liquid formula and other nutrition products are not affected by the recall.

The products recalled in the US are foods used for special medical purposes for infants. The Enfamil brand of Nutramigen Powder caters to children with an allergy to cow’s milk. The products are mainly prescribed but are also available without a prescription.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also put out a note on the US Nutramigen Powder recall on 1 January.

The Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria sparked a major infant-formula recall in the US in 2022 instigated by Abbot Laboratories, causing a shortage of product on shelves, although the company insisted at the time that there was no “conclusive evidence to link” its formula to child illnesses following investigations by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reckitt Benckiser was one of the companies that stepped in, along with Nestlé-owned Gerber, to plug the shortages. Abbott and those two companies were at the time the major infant-formula producers in the US. The FDA has since been opening up the market to overseas manufacturers to prevent a repeat of shortages on shelves, an incident that sparked an outcry among parents and politicians and emergency government measures.

Almost a year ago – in February 2023 – Reckitt Benckiser initiated another product recall over possible contamination from Cronobacter sakazakii. That incident was centred on the company’s ProSobee Simply Plant-Based infant formula.